Lakers vs. Celtics: Social Media Breakdown #NBA

Lakers vs. Celtics: Social Media Breakdown #NBA Adam Schoenfeld Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

The 2010 NBA Finals are underway with a classic battle between the Lakers and Celtics. Over 10 million people tuned in to watch game 2 on ABC and we tracked nearly 500,000 Tweets and public Facebook posts mentioning Lakers or Celtics during the game. The series is tied at 1 game a piece with the Celtics taking game 2 on the road. We monitored social media activity for the first two games and broke it down below.

Overall, the Lakers were mentioned at a greater rate during both games. We chalk this up to the larger population in Los Angeles relative to Boston, but we’ll keep watching the mix as the series goes on. In the Celtics game 2 victory, their relative share of social media posts increased from 33% to 42%, suggesting that wins draw more attention and conversation from fans than losses.

Looking at activity over time showed a similar pattern in both games. Activity spikes around the final buzzer (similar to the trend we saw in earlier playoff games). In game 1, mentions of the Lakers led the Celtics through the entire game and the Lakers pulled away at the final buzzer on their way to a big win. In game 2, mentions of the Celtics passed the Lakers at the final buzzer as the Celtics secured the victory. It appears that the winning team has higher relative volume at the buzzer. We suspect this is a result of fans celebrating their team’s win with social media posts.

We pulled down a huge dataset on this topic and we know this is just scratching the surface. We’re planning to dig deeper as the series goes on. We’re interested to see how different players appear, what topics drive the conversation, how activity shifts with the score, how the officials and other in-game events influence the conversation.

If you are interested in taking a crack at the data, we’d love to see what you come up with! You can download game 1 and game 2 data here (2 csv files compressed): RowFeeder for Celtics and Lakers compressed.zip

Adam Schoenfeld

Adam is the Co-Founder and VP of Strategy at Simply Measured. In 2010 (aka the dark ages of social marketing), Adam joined Damon Cortesi and Aviel Ginzburg to found "Untitled Startup, Inc" with the goal of helping marketers and analysts use social data to do their best work. The company quickly evolved to become Simply Measured and the trusted leader in social analytics. Outside of Simply Measured, Adam is a golfer, breakfast enthusiast, and long-time data geek.